Oh my, what a sweet, sweet story! Kim Vogel Sawyer chooses tough topics and turns them into grace filled masterpieces. Dinah's story is no exception. From the first pages of the story to the end, I was captured in the emotions. The story flowed smoothly over the pages. It's been a while since a book has moved me to tears, but this story did that and more.
The characters, especially Dinah, were flawlessly written. I've read several stories about girls with Dinah's background, but I can't remember one that has faced the same turmoil and degradation as Dinah. Watching her struggle through life afterwards was heartbreaking and at times I wanted to shake her! That, to me, made the story more realistic. Amos Ackerman was also a refreshing character. He wasn't the "perfect" male character that a lot of romance novels contain. He had a physical imperfection, and was also starkly human. He had his flaws. Ruthie was a breath of fresh air at some points, and also a great supporting character for Dinah. Even though she was written very human, she exemplified the Christian faith and how a Christian should act.
All of the characters, Dinah, Amos, and Ruthie, had to struggle to accept the message God had for them. Dinah struggles to accept the fact that she is not worthless in God's eyes. Amos struggles to come to grips with the fact that God knows what's best for him and keeping his eyes on God's will for his life. Ruthie struggles to understand God's will for her life might not be her own and she needs to pray and listen for her answer.
Overall, the story was sweet and refreshing. It provides an overwhelming sense of God's grace and love for all of us. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace: whose mind is stayed on thee..." Isaiah 26:3
**I received this book for free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**
Dinah Hubley didn't have much of a childhood. Her mother is a prostitute and she grew up in popular Chicago brothel. Her dream is to become one of Harvey's girls--a well-respected hotel waitress. When a tragedy occurs and her mother dies, Dinah tries to move on from her painful past and becomes a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel. Amos Ackerman is a chicken farmer who has been the subject of ridicule his entire whole life due to an old injury that gives him a limp. He immediately takes a liking to Dinah--but will they be able to move from their pasts to embrace a beautiful future?
I have kept up with all of Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest releases ever since reading My Heart Remembers, one of my favorite books. I immediately snatched the chance to read Through the Deep Waters when it came out. As much as I love the author and really wanted to love this book, I thought that it was just ok. Although the premise of the story was interesting and the message was beautiful, I didn't connect with any of the characters and found myself bored and reading it quickly just so I could finish. However, this book did have a good message. It shows that matter what you have done in your life or how broken you are, you can find peace and healing through Christ. I thought it had a nice ending as well.
To sum up, Through the Deep Waters had a touching story, sweet romance, and a powerful message. Unfortunately it didn't quite hold my attention. If you enjoy uplifting historical novels, then I recommend you try out this book.
**I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
Wow! Through the Deep Waters was a very powerful book! I was so drawn into this story and felt very connected with the characters. The author did a wonderful job of capturing human nature in this book. Whether she was relating the sense of loneliness and hurt that Dinah usually carried around, the jealousy that sprung up from another chambermaid when she felt slighted, or the hope of true love, I rode the highs and lows with these characters.
Dinah has only known hardship in her life as the daughter of a prostitute, and hopes for a new start in Kansas. Amos has known his own hardship and carries the evidence in a noticeable limp. One person damaged on the inside and one on the outside. Watching the hand of God moving through this story was amazing! Dinah's hurt and guilt is so deep. Will she ever be able to understand that there is a way to be truly washed clean? And when Amos learns the truth of Dinah's past, will he be able to see her through God's eyes or will she always be stained to him?
I was very impressed with this book. Even though it dealt with some pretty heavy issues, including prostitution and rape, it was an amazingly uplifting book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it to fans of historical fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Dinah Hubley is the daughter of a prostitute, living in her mother's brothel in Chicago. When her mother falls ill, and her madam threatens Dinah with eviction for both of them, Dinah agrees to sacrifice her innocence for her mother's security and her own escape. However, the choice damages Dinah more than she could have foreseen, and as she flees to Kansas to work in a Harvey hotel, she longs to put her past behind her and work her way to a life of respect. Once in Kansas, she's forced to hide her true self from all of those around her, lest she be fired for an immoral past. This includes distancing herself from her friendly roommate Ruthie, their coworkers, and the intriguing egg man Amos Ackerman. Can she continue to keep herself removed from the people in her life who are trying to show her kindness? If they learn her secrets, will they distance themselves from her?
Oh, how this book made me hurt for Dinah. Everything she'd worked so hard to avoid while living in the brothel came crashing in on her in one self-sacrificing decision. It's easy to look at what was coming for her and think that she should have known what she was sacrificing, but the author does such a good job of painting Dinah's innocent nature and remorse, that Dinah becomes the wronged party and you only hope for things to turn out well for her.
I also appreciated the author's handling of Dinah's search for God's love. She desperately wanted to believe when Ruthie told her that God loved her, but her internal guilt and shame make it hard for her to trust that God cares for her. Even Ruthie's relationship with Dinah felt realistic - she'd been raised as a pastor's daughter to treat others with kindness and point them to God, but in her own desires she found that jealousy and envy sometimes got in the way of doing the right thing.
There were several side story lines that I wish the author had followed up on with more detail, but it would probably have made for a more scattered feeling story, or else it would have made the book too long to be enjoyable. Overall, I give this book 4 stars. It dealt with topics not discussed easily, and it did it well, while keeping the characters well-rounded and honest. Not everything worked out the way the characters wanted, there were consequences to their actions, yet there was God's grace and love to bring healing.
Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review
I have loved every book I have ever read by Kim Vogel Sawyer, but I must admit that this one has been my favorite of all. I have always been a bit intrigued by the Harvey Girls (I love old movies!), so learning more about the lives of some of these girls and the standards of behavior required for them to maintain, along with the prestige and privileges of different positions was enthralling. But the circumstances of Dinah's upbringing and her progression as she slowly learns about God and tentatively puts her trust in Him is also like watching a flower slowly bloom and come to life. The novel has conflict and situations that affect people always, and the characters do not remain one dimensional through out the book. It has been a while since I have read a fictional novel that I only put down because my eyes literally would not stay open, but this one kept me wanting to read just one more chapter before falling asleep. Excellent historical novel that can speak to those who prefer contemporary stories. Well done!
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.